New clothing store classes up local attire
by GREER HOWARD
This article originally appeared in The Tiger on March 7, 2003 | PRINT

A new clothing store, Julep, will open around April 1 in Rubin Square, next to Peppino's Pizza. This will be Clemson's first retail store geared toward college women.

The store will carry clothing and some accessories. The owners plan on carrying Michael Stars, Liquid, Robin Jordan, Soda Blu and G. Couture. These brands include cotton and shiny T-shirts, cropped pants, halter tops, skirts, dresses and denim. Julep will also carry Home Town HandCrafts handbags, Usindo sandals and inexpensive jewelry such as hoop earrings.

Co-owner Missy Reba said, "We're trying to get an eclectic assortment of items so that people won't feel like if they buy something, everyone else in Clemson will have the same thing."

The store's target market is college women ages 18 to 25, but since the population fluctuates when students are on break, the owners are also going to target a slightly older and younger crowd.

Julep's clothing items will vary greatly in price from $25 to $200, depending on the quality. Shoes will range from about $45 to $85. Many of the accessories such as jewelry and handbags will be under $25.

Reba, originally from Fort Wayne, Ind., graduated from Clemson in accounting last May. "Ever since I started going to school here in August of 1998, I've wondered why there is no high-quality women's clothing store in town," explained Reba. She recalls many frustrating trips with no luck traveling back and forth to Anderson and Greenville in search of a new top or dress to wear out. As a result, Reba decided that Clemson needed a clothing store geared toward college women.

Reba's sister-in-law, Lauren Reba is the other co-owner. Missy Reba said, "We make a great team because I have a business background and she has a fashion and design background." Lauren graduated from Brown University with a degree in architecture.

There are several reasons Reba thinks Julep will be successful, "There is no competition in the area. One would have to drive to Greenville or farther to get many of the brands we will be offering."

Most girls would agree it can be frustrating driving 45 minutes when you are looking for a last-minute outfit. Another reason Reba believes Julep will be successful is because she feels she has "a pretty good idea for what our target customers like and are looking for in a store."

In order to assure Julep will offer what Clemson girls are looking for, the owners of Julep conducted marketing surveys from three sororities and a small group of health science students. The results were positive, although many were concerned with prices and uniqueness in a small store. To this Reba responded, "We are trying very hard to accommodate these concerns."

Julep is scheduled to open on April 1 and plans on having several dresses just in time for graduation.

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